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Currently Browsing: romance
Feb
20

Review: A Kiss for A Cure by Sidney Bristol

Review: A Kiss for A Cure by Sidney Bristol A Kiss for a Cure Author: Sidney Bristol  Release Date: Feb. 4, 2013 Publisher: Lyrical Press Fuller Center #1 Genre: Sci-fi Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: What’s a girl to do when her parents gift her with a man for Christmas? Caught between two kingdoms, Jordan has given up the privileged world of intergalactic court life to become an interstellar biologist researching space sharks. Unexpectedly saddled with a husband from a race who are rumored to be sex fiends, her life is yanked in a direction she doesn’t want. But Cai isn’t human and he must have the emotional feedback of a mate in order to survive. Charged with protecting Jordan, can he win her heart and keep her safe from harm? Will they survive the challenges that arise…sexual, emotional and political? Time is ticking away and it’s not on their side. What I’m talking about: Living alone on a space research center, Jordan didn’t plan to do much for the Christmas holidays. In addition, as the illegitimate daughter of two powerful parents (who were forbidden to marry) from neighboring kingdoms, Jordan is used to being alone. So when Jordan discovers that the package from her parents contains a male – a husband none the less, she doesn’t know how to respond.  Cai is from a race of people that requires emotional feedback and physical intimacy in order to survive. Agreeing to marry Jordan seemed like an ideal opportunity to Cai, and he can’t understand why Jordan finds the situation so appalling. Now he’s stuck between wanting Jordan and wanting to give her the freedom she desires. I completely adored A Kiss for a Cure. The opening sequences as Jordan watched her “present” open to reveal a man were priceless. The humor was subtle but stellar. Lines like “Sane people did not receive men in boxes for Christmas from their parents,” made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.  I am a science-nerd at heart, and sci-fi is my first love. I totally geeked out over the wonderful play-by-play as Jordan attempted to scientifically break down Cai and his race’s need for physical and emotional feedback. Her responses as a scientist and her need to find a “cure” were perfectly played. The premise behind the story and Cai’s “condition” was well thought out and presented to the reader in an effective and entertaining manner. The story is full of wonderful descriptive scenes such as...
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Feb
11

Review: Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey

Review: Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts Author: Heather Massey  Release Date: Jan. 30, 2013 Publisher: Lyrical Press Genre: Western, Romance, Steampunk Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: The West just got a whole lot wilder.  A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.  A man with a secret…  Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.  A perilous quest…  Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late. What I’m talking about: Violet Whitcomb has lived a fairly isolated life as the only child of famous inventor Joseph Whitcomb. After her mother died, Violet spent most of her childhood helping her father with his top-secret creations, the biggest and best of which is about to be revealed.  Traveling through the Wyoming Territory aboard a luxury steam engine, Violet lives vicariously through her weekly reader “The Lady’s Fireside Collection” and the romantic adventures of John “Wild Wolf” Wallace. Yearning for adventure and a love of her own, Violet is immediately taken with a handsome stranger on the train. Soon the safety of her world is shaken when the Iron Scorpion sends his terrifying machines to kidnap Violet’s father. Enlisting the aid of her stranger, Logan McCoy, Violet sets out into the unknown to rescue her Papa.  Violet is extremely lonely, and I empathize with her desires to break out of her father’s shadow and live her own life. Yet, she comes across naive, with an innocent childlike quality, and I am uncertain she could make it on her own. This image of Violet is reinforced time and time again, especially in her interactions with Logan. The lines between stubbornness and childish were...
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Jan
15

Review: Black Fallen by Elle Jasper

Review: Black Fallen by Elle Jasper Black Fallen Author: Elle Jasper   Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012 Publisher: Signet The Dark Ink Chronicles #4 ISBN: 978-0451413529 Genre: Urban Fantasy, romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       After surviving life-threatening bites from three powerful strigoi vampires, tattoo artist Riley Poe has absorbed their powers and is stronger than ever. Just as she’s learning to harness her newfound abilities, she and her vampire guardian fiancé, Eli Dupré, agree to join the elite Worldwide Unexplained Phenomena team.        This task force, composed of vampires, druids, werewolves, and otherbeings, has been assigned to take down the Black Fallen, a powerful race of fallen angels consumed by the darkest magic. These dangerous creatures are searching for the ultimate source of power in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Riley will be the WUP team’s secret weapon to take them down. She must be careful, though, or their dark power could engulf her—and her heart, too….   What VampBard’s talking...
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Jan
7

Review: The Inventor by Theresa Meyers

Review: The Inventor by Theresa Meyers The Inventor Author: Theresa Meyers  Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012 Publisher: Zebra Books The Legend Chronicles prequel Genre: Paranormal Steampunk Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: Sir Marley Turlock doesn’t normally bother with flirtation. He’s an inventor, a scientist, not a gadabout. And the floor of the inaugural London Aeronautical Exhibition, just before he presents his groundbreaking new device to the Queen herself, is not the place to change his habits toward the fairer sex. But Lady Persephone Hargrieve has her delicate fingers engaged in the innards of his device before Marley can catch his breath at her beauty. He’s never met a woman like her—a fiery intelligence to match his own, a genius for mechanics, and more secrets than he can guess. Of course, Sephie’s secrets aren’t all innocuous tricks to make the gears spin smoother. It’s no coincidence that she’s turned up to investigate Marley’s machines—if they’re good enough, if he can be trusted enough, they might save the country. Even if along the way she ends up losing her heart… What I’m talking about: For those of us that read The Legend Chronicles series by Theresa Meyers, we know and love grouchy ol’ Marley: genius inventor extraordinaire. He is friend to the Winn Brothers (the men of legend fighting the evil Darken), but lives alone. He has a mysterious past, one hinted full of lost love and sadness. So when Ms. Meyers shared with me (at AADNOLA) that she was telling Marley’s backstory in an upcoming novella, I was giddy! And a note to those that haven’t read the series, The Inventor is a prequel set several years before the beginning of the series and can be read at any time. There are no series spoilers in this novella. The short story takes place in London, 1868, and opens with Marley working on his latest invention. He hopes to impress the Queen and be invited to join the prestigious Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. While stumped trying to work out a kink in his inventions, the lovely Lady Persephone Hargrieve sits down and starts tinkering (with his permission). Marley is immediately taken with Sephie and hopes to court her, even though she is daughter of Lord Hargrieve and above his station. Lord Hargrieve is impressed with Marley and invites him to his home to discuss a project. It is here that Marley learns the true nature of Lord Hargrieve’s work:...
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Dec
20

Review: Nightwalker by Allyson James

Review: Nightwalker by Allyson James Nightwalker Author: Allyson James  Release Date: Oct. 11, 2012 Publisher: self-published Stormwalker #4 ISBN: #978-0986023842 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (376 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: Stormwalker Janet Begay, proprietor of the Crossroads Hotel, a place where the paranormal stop for a safe night’s rest, discovers the hard way that a slayer is targeting Ansel, a Nightwalker who’s become a more-or-less permanent resident.  When Janet and her lover Mick intervene to save Ansel’s un-life, they find that the attack is the beginning of an oncoming storm. Janet has her hands full already with the upcoming marriage of her father, the return of a woman who claims to be Coyote’s wife, her crazy half-sister, a couple dragons on her back, and her worry about Mick, who’s behaving strangely again.  But it seems that everyone is after Ansel, who fears he killed the woman he loves in a Nightwalker frenzy. Janet must choose between protecting Ansel, or facing the most powerful magical beings in the world, who are willing to destroy Janet, Mick, her hotel, and everyone she cares about to get to Ansel and his secrets.  What I’m talking about: Nightwalker is the fourth installment of Allyson James’ excellent Stormwalker urban fantasy series centering around Native American Janet Begay, born from half evil goddess and half storm magic. This series is one of my absolute favorites, and while you could start with Nightwalker, I highly recommend you start at the beginning. The overarching plot development and detailed character growth over the first three stories is phenomenal, making each story richer than the previous. Our current story opens with Janet’s friend and resident nightwalker (vampire), Ansel, under attack from a professional slayer. It appears that Ansel may have killed his human girlfriend while in a blood frenzy, and now her sister has placed a bounty on Ansel’s head. And per usual, poor Janet can’t catch a break. As she takes off on her brand new motorcycle to investigate a lead, her bike becomes possessed, carrying her at high speeds down the highway. And to top it off, her magic mirror is broken – all darkened and unresponsive. Nightwalker, like each book before it, had me hooked from the very start. First, the overall mystery is engrossing. Janet and her fiancé Mick work together to figure out if Ansel did kill his girlfriend, or if not him, who is hiding the truth. Along the way...
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Dec
19

Review: Skies of Steel by Zoe Archer

Review: Skies of Steel by Zoe Archer Skies of Steel Author: Zoe Archer  Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012 Publisher: Avon Impulse The Ether Chronicles #3 ISBN: #978-0062218155 Genre: Steampunk Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ Edelweiss About the book: The prim professor Daphne Carlisle may be a scholar, but she’s far more comfortable out in the field than lost in a stack of books. Still, when her parents are kidnapped by a notorious warlord, she knows she’ll need more than quick thinking if she is to reach them in time. Daphne’s only hope for getting across enemy territory is an airship powered and navigated by Mikhail Denisov, a rogue Man O’ War who is as seductive as he is untrustworthy. The jaded mercenary Mikhail will do anything for the right price, and he’s certain he has this mission—and Daphne—figured out: a simple job and a beautiful but sheltered Englishwoman. But as they traverse the skies above the Mediterranean and Arabia, Mikhail learns the fight ahead is anything but simple, and his lovely passenger is not entirely what she seems. The only thing Mikhail is certain of is their shared desire—both unexpected and dangerous. What I’m talking about: Professor of Anthropology Daphne Carlisle finds herself in a desperate situation when her parents are kidnapped by a warlord on the Arabian Peninsula. The British government refuses to get involved, which leaves Daphne to seek out the help of rogue Man O’ War Airship Captain Mikhail Mikhailovish Denisov. Once a decorated Captain in the Russian navy, Mikhail is now a mercenary for hire. Daphne convinces a wary Mikhail to take her to her parents with ransom in tow. Once underway, Daphne and Mikhail discover that each has secrets to hide, yet their attraction to one another is strong. Both fascinated with the other, but unwilling to share personal stories. They play a fragile game, revealing only the barest amount of information and only when forced into a situation which calls for the truth. I adored the opening chapter of Skies of Steel. The whole exchange between Daphne and the Captain as she barters for passage to the Arabian Peninsula set the stage for their exciting journey! The entire scene was well written and successful at pulling me into the book! The descriptions of Mikhail … are sublime. Hard angles comprised his face: a boldly square jaw, high cheekbones, a decidedly Slavic nose. The slightly almond shape of this eyes revealed distant Tartar blood, while his curved,...
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Dec
18

Review: Touch of Steel by Kate Cross

Review: Touch of Steel by Kate Cross Touch of Steel Author: Kate Cross  Release Date: Dec. 4, 2012 Publisher: Signet Clockwork Agents #2 ISBN: #978-0451238825 Genre: Steampunk Romance Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: The Wardens of the Realm are a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England from any threat. But in this steam-powered world, there’s a fine line between enemy and ally… Reeling from her brother’s death, beautiful American spy Claire Brooks has vowed revenge on the member of The Company who she believes to be responsible: Stanton Howard. But when she chases the man to London, Claire is captured by the Wardens of the Realm and placed in the custody of the Earl of Wolfred, the dashing Alistair Payne. Seeing the prospect of retribution slipping away, Claire convinces Alistair that she has defected and will help him take down The Company. As they travel via steam liner, Claire and Alistair must pretend to be engaged. Claire can’t deny the growing attraction she feels for her pretend husband, but when Howard is finally within her reach, she will have to decide whether her true loyalties lie with The Company or with her heart What Una is talking about: As a recent convert to the world of Steampunk, I may not understand it all, but I do love it!  Ms. Cross’s latest installment in the Clockwork Agents series, Touch of Steel is just as mesmerizing as the first book, Heart of Brass.  If you want to just jump in on this book, feel free, but the connections of the characters will be stronger if you read the first book.  Plus, it was a great read. Touch of Steel begins with Claire Brooks, a Company agent following Stanton Howard, another agent with the Company – one she believes killed her brother.  The Company has done nothing to punish him so she takes it upon herself to avenge her brother, Robert.  Racing along the rooftops, both suffering gunshot wounds, Stanton gains the upper hand and throws Claire off the roof and gets away.  Claire’s fall is broken by a passing carriage and she is taken into Warden custody.  Her only hope to stay alive and get back on Stanton’s trail is to appeal to a fellow former agent and friend, Luke. Alistair, an agent with the Wardens and the Earl of Wolfred, is recovering from being almost killed by an enemy spy.  It seems Alistair tends to be attracted to the...
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Nov
15

Review: Her Sky Cowboy by Beth Ciotta

Review: Her Sky Cowboy by Beth Ciotta Her Sky Cowboy Author: Beth Ciotta  Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012 Publisher: Signet The Glorious Victorious Darcys #1 ISBN: #978-0451238474 Genre: Steampunk Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Amelia Darcy has no interest in marrying well. Her heart belongs to the sky and the dirigibles of brass and steel that swoop over Victorian England. But when her father, an eccentric inventor, dies, the Darcy siblings are left with scrap metal—and not a penny to their names. Their only hope to save the family reputation and fortune is to embark on a quest to discover an invention of historical importance in honor of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Armed with only her father’s stories of a forgotten da Vinci workshop, a mechanically enhanced falcon, and an Italian cook, Amelia takes flight for Florence, Italy. But her quest is altered when her kitecycle crashes into the airship of ex-Air Marshal—and scandalous dime novel hero—Tucker Gentry. Tuck agrees to escort Amelia to her destination, but the two are challenged by political unrest, a devious sky pirate, and their own sizzling attraction. Soon the pair is dragged into an international conspiracy that could change the course of history…again. What Una is talking about: I admit, I am still a bit of a newbie when it comes to Steampunk.  However, I enjoy the melding of technology and historical within my romance.  I jumped at the chance to read the first in this steampunk series, The Glorious Victorious Darcys.  Although I had a bumpy start and I am still a bit wary, I enjoyed Her Sky Cowboy and look forward to the next novel in this series. Ms. Ciotta has introduced the reader to an interesting mythology in this new steampunk series.  It seems an accomplished inventor created a time machine that was debuted at the World’s Fair, causing quite a stir.  Unfortunately, that time machine that went 100 years into the future…then returned with people from the 1960’s (referred to as Mods) in order to prevent wars.  This Peace War caused a significant shift in history.  Those that came back remained (because I believe the time machine was destroyed).  Those of the era, Victorians (Vics for short) that somehow bred with these Mods produced Freaks.  So named because due to the fact that one parent came from the future, caused their eyes to be a kaleidoscope of color…and they seem to posses an unusual skill or talent.      What I...
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Oct
24

Review: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Review: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher Ghost Planet Author: Sharon Lynn Fisher   Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012 Publisher: Tor Science Fiction ISBN: #978-0765368973 Genre: Science Fiction Romance Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book: Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world—a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she’d struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.  As a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy—creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone—oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love—Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.  But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man that she loves. What Nima’s talking about: I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet grabbed me into one of those book trances that leaves you unable to do laundry, sleep, or function in the real world until you finish.  When forced to put the book down, you walk around in a book bubble thinking about the plot and how it might twist and turn until you can pick it up again.  This is when you decide pancakes are awesome for dinner so you can go back to your comfy spot and slip back into the emotions of the book. I love science fiction and have never felt that it should exclude romance.  Relationships always drive a story whether it’s between warring factions, governments, scientists, or star crossed lovers.  Where would Star Wars be without Hans and Leia?  Ghost Planet blends them seamlessly and this is a story where neither the science nor the romance takes a backseat to the other.  They both hold their own in a way that as they interact, they are each become more.  The sum is greater than its parts. The science is also approachable for those of us who didn’t major in molecular biology. More than anything, this is a...
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Oct
3

Review: Night of Fire by Nico Rosso

Review: Night of Fire by Nico Rosso Night of Fire Author: Nico Rosso  Release Date: July 10, 2012 Publisher: Avon Impulse The Ether Chronicles #2 ISBN: #978-0062201089 Genre: Steampunk Romance, Western Format(s): Paperback (256 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/Edelweiss About the book: US Army Upland Ranger Tom Knox trades the front lines for a different conflict as he returns home to California on his ether-borne mechanical horse. Three years ago, he skipped town, leaving the one girl who ever mattered. Rosa Campos.  He thinks she’ll be settled down but discovers Rosa’s the town sheriff, caught in a battle with a mining company’s five-story, rock-eating machine. Tom’s the last person Rosa expects to see riding out of the sky to her aid, and seeing him again reignites a flame more dangerous than the enemy threatening to destroy them both. What I’m talking about: Our hero, Tom Knox, left his small coastal hometown of Thornville three years ago, leaving behind his love, Rosa Campos. He joined the service and has been fighting against the Hapsburg soldiers here on US soil – or in Tom’s case, in the sky as an Upland Ranger. Before Tom left, he wasn’t much of a hero or a man worthy of Rosa, and her parents were certain to remind him of that often. He returns now, uncertain of how he’ll be received, yet certain that Rosa has settled down and moved on. To his surprise, Rosa is a changed woman – now the sheriff of Thornville, and she’s never forgiven Tom for abandoning her those three long years ago. Unfortunately, as soon as Tom arrives, there are serious problems for Thornville. The Crandall Mining Company, unhappy that no one would sell land in Thornville, is heading towards town in a massive monstrosity of a machine that destroys everything in its path. It’s up to Tom and Rosa to overcome their past and work together to save the town. Although this is the second story in The Ether Chronicles, the opening of Night of Fire is almost the complete opposite of the first book, Skies of Fire. Instead of jumping right into the action as in Skies, this book takes its time and introduces the reader to the surrounding landscape. We take a stroll down memory lane with Tom as he flies his way back to his childhood homestead and the woman he left behind. The beginning focuses on world-building and filling the reader in on the environment of the times. Another change from...
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